Not to put too fine a point on it
In news that may be a ghost of bummers yet to come for Element’s current patchouli-scented incarnation, Mike V’s favorite Billabong subsidiary announced this weekend that 14-year-old Jah aficionado Nyjah Huston has either died, or else no longer shares the widely held “Element For Life” view, for reasons of his own. Those reasons could very well be tied to the American dollar; despite current weakness in Australian’s version of the greenback (a good thing), Element’s pater familias continues to grapple with the same bear that’s biting into Pacific Sunwear sales and claiming warehouse jobs.
All of this, or none of this, may have to do with Nyjah being out of his element (heh) and entertaining offers. And ignoring the very possibly totally for sure logic that he will end up at Plan B, due to existing Syndrome ties through Silver and FKD as well as Danny and Colin’s ongoing crusade to lock up superhero talent, checkbook be damned… I would like to make the unsolicited argument as to why Tony Hawk seriously needs to step in and put Nyjah Huston on Birdhouse.
1. Tony Hawk understands the child star
Hated on for much of the 80s, Tony Hawk possibly understands what Ryan Sheckler is dealing with right now, beloved by the secular world and despised by people who, you know, actually skateboard. Nyjah Huston, being five years younger and about 50 times more talented than Ryan Sheckler, is a kid Hawk could (heh heh) take under his wing and (fuck it) teach to soar in both the real skateboard world and whatever market exists outside of it when the recessionary dust settles.
2. The Shaun White experiment has failed
Half the kids who skateboard don’t know who the Flying Tomato is, the other half think he’s a retard, nobody considers him a for real pro skateboarder and the leopard-print tights aren’t helping anybody. Birdhouse long ago cast its lot with the cartoon graphic-fixated tween demographic, and with Tony Hawk in the announcer booth instead of the winner’s podium at the X-Games or Gravity Games or whatever, the company needs fresh star power to move those re-screened Brian Sumner decks.
Self-explanatory. Scooping up Element’s treasured prodigy would slake the Birdman’s thirst for vengeance after Element appropriated his own protege, race car driver and projectile pooper Bucky Lasek.
4. Birdhouse has the money
Or maybe they don’t, but while pro paychecks get delayed at your favorite deck purveyor, Tony Hawk likely continues to sleep upon a sizable pile of cash with any number of beautiful women. Since bringing Birdhouse under the illustrious Tony Hawk Inc. power umbrella, the proprietor has stated that “increased oversight and involvement” in the team will be his highest priority. This would give him the opportunity to put his
money where his mouth is bills where his bill is.*
5. Birdhouse needs a power move
Putting Nyjah Huston on would remind people that A. Birdhouse exists, B. they give a shit and C. that they want a seat at the table as far as high-profile team maneuverings (no disrespect to Nesser, Ploesser, Willy Santos et al). It would also suggest that the company has some sort of longterm plan for the future aside from Riley Hawk and selling repro’d Hawk graphics, which, if you read Sean Eaton’s interview in TSM recently, doesn’t seem especially certain.
TSM: You look at Birdhouse as a big mistake?
SE: I personally do, yeah.
Was it disheartening to see Tom Green and Shaun White go pro before you?
Dude, that’s exactly what I’m talking about.
Now, bear in mind that this whole posting carries the major disclaimer of relying upon my own questionable judgment and intelligence, as I prepare to fully fail Nate Sherwood’s “skate IQ” test. Stay tuned as I report back the assuredly depressing results.
*That was awesome